Easter season is upon us, but before Easter Sunday arrives, we will encounter Holy Week. Holy Week observances are a great way to prepare for Easter Sunday and the Easter season. Every family may participate in this holiday differently, but maybe a few of these ideas can be added to your family traditions!
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday. This is the Sunday prior to Easter Sunday and marks Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. At church, a priest or pastor may celebrate Palm Sunday with special readings and the use of palm branches during the service.
Here are some ways you can continue to celebrate at home:
-Use a purple tablecloth or sash to mark the colors of Lent.
-Put a small statue of Jesus in the center of your dinner table.
-Use palm branches from church and have your own triumphal procession to the dinner table as you talk about Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
These days are not official holidays of Holy Week, but they are still important! As a family, you can build the anticipation of Easter by partaking in activities that can be used for Easter Sunday, like-
-Print this free Easter Countdown calendar.
-Create a Resurrection Set (it’s kinda like a nativity scene, but for Easter). Click here for free printable!
-Decorating your home with white lilies. Talk about how the color white represents purity, rebirth, and new beginnings. Check out these tips for dying Easter eggs!
-Spend time as a family decorating Easter eggs. Easter eggs are a symbol of new life that comes with the Resurrection. Make the event more meaningful by writing things like “Alleluia” or “Christ is Risen” on the eggs to help remind kids the reason we celebrate Easter.
This day is set aside to remember the Last Supper when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. It is a great day to talk about how we are called to serve one another as Jesus did. Ways to celebrate include-
-Many churches may have a church service this day, so if you can go as a family, that is a great way to celebrate this day.
-Encourage your kids to volunteer to pull weeds for a neighbor, make cookies for their teacher, or any other kind act of service. Helping others in need or just doing kind things for our neighbors is a great way to show kids how we can be like Jesus and live in service of others.
This special Friday is the most solemn and sorrowful day of the Christian year. It commemorates the crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus Christ. Treating this day with solemn respect is an important way to prepare for Easter Sunday. Ways you can help your family respect this day include-
-Attending a Good Friday service at church (yes, Holy Week can involve a lot of church services!)
-Set aside a time to pray sometime between 12 noon and 3:00 pm as this is the time we recognize Christ’s crucifixion. Often for little kids this is an abstract concept, but by sitting aside time to say “This is the time of day Christ died, so we will say a little prayer in honor of His sacrifice,” can be a way to make the event more easily understood as a solemn and important event.
-If kids are old enough, watching the Passion of the Christ is a great way to remember the important of Good Friday
-Many Christian denominations fast on this day. For littles, maybe ask them to give up a special treat or dessert in honor of Jesus, reminding them Easter Sunday is the day for treats and a feast in honor of Easter. This helps build that anticipation while also honoring the importance of Good Friday.
The BIG DAY has arrived! Resurrection Sunday, a day many argue is just as, or more, important than Christmas! THE REASON Christianity is what it is: Jesus has risen! Today is a feast day and a day of monumental celebration. Bring on the egg hunts, the big breakfast, and your Sunday best clothes!
-Make a memorable breakfast that includes talking points about why we celebrate Easter. Check out this recipe for Resurrection Rolls. This recipe for Empty Tomb Rolls would also make a great breakfast on Easter Sunday!
-Dress your best and attend an Easter service at your local Church. Take some family photos while you and your family while you are dressed for the occasion!
-Time to hide those eggs you and your kiddos decorated during Holy Week! Get out the Easter baskets and celebrate with family and friends with a traditional Easter egg hunt.
-Some families create big Easter baskets full of goodies and presents. This is a fun way to celebrate Easter, let us not forget to talk about Christ’s sacrifice as the greatest gift of all!
Remember: Easter Sunday is the BEGINNING of the Easter season! We should move forward in the following days with the glow of pure joy that comes with knowing HE IS RISEN!
I hope you and your family have a very blessed and memorable Holy Week and Easter season!